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Discussion in 'International Transport' started by user1234, 7 Feb 2019.
There are lots of invisible checks on Eurotunnel.
Problem for me is that whatever damage could be done on a Eurostar could equally be done on most other trains. So why does the Eurostar have security when the others don't?
It goes back to the days of IRA activity, and has very little to do with the damage you could do with explosives on something long and thin like a train (which is actually very little - witness how few were killed/injured in the Tube bombings, and compare a crowded Tube train with a much less crowded Eurostar) but more to do with how the Tunnel is a very high profile target.
The fundamental problem is would *you* sign off removing it now the IRA has packed it in (allegedly due to the peace process, but also in no minor way due to US funding being cut off after the US turned against terrorism after 9/11) and Islamic terror has moved onto other methods?
Could damage be done to the tunnel itself if a bomb was timed to go off when a train was in it?
Then there is the risk of an armed hijack of a Eurostar train in the tunnel itself.
There is next to no actual risk posed by that because what are you going to do with it? You can't fly it to Syria looking for a ransom or whatever they used to do with hijacked airliners.
It's all about bombs and the IRA.
Absolute garbage we need security checks and the trains do run late enough and why the heck would you want to stand?
They operate like an airline because NO other service offers travel to France other than airlines so they are quite right to operate like an airline.
And price wise have you tried to look an Edinburgh to london on the day? It’s just as dear as Eurostar!
I think it would have to be a fairly large bomb to cause enough damage. As far as I'm aware the HGV fires didn't threaten structural collapse although they spalled the concrete and closed a bore for some months, and the 7/7 bombs didn't cause any structural damage to the tunnels themselves.
A vehicle bomb in a shuttle would be more likely if structural damage was the aim, though I assume some of the "invisible" security measures mentioned for Eurotunnel are to protect against this.
You don’t see a problem with 1,000 passengers being trapped in the middle of the tunnel with some armed men? That would be one long, very high profile, very disruptive, siege. With next to no access I imagine even the SAS wouldn’t fancy an assault until there was no choice and then passenger survival is going to be largely a result of terrorist ammunition capacity.
And all pretty much totally preventable with simple security checks and just 30 extra minutes.
But if it is the reason then why other, comparable lines do not do it ? IRA set aside, are there so many differences between the Channel tunnel and the new Gotthard base tunnel ?
That is further than London to Paris or Brussels. Not only that, the cheapest walk on return is £147.40, valid for departures leaving London between 0906 and 1459, considerably less than the usual £150+ single on Eurostar.
That’s a fair question to be asking those operators.....though are their trains as long?
1. Gotthard has emergency access at Faido and Sedrun, approx a third and two thirds along. Channel tunnel intermediate access points beyond Shakespeare Cliff are either non-existent or top secret. 2. The political history of Switzerland is very different to that of France and the UK. 3. Both goodies and baddies appreciate the discretion excercised by the Swiss banking industry.
2 x ICNs are at ~950 seats and extra standing passengers are basically allowed if the train isn’t (to the guard’s judgment) overcrowded. So I’d say yes!
What's your point? The £147.40 fare is not valid on the Eurostar or on any of the flights from London to Paris or Brussels, or on any other form of transport between those cities. How is it relevant to anyone making such a journey?
I wasn't the one making the comparison with the fare to Edinburgh. But certainly the on the day fare to Brussels or Paris is out of the reach of almost all people other than the very rich.
But exactly the same could happen in the Severn tunnel for example, or even between stations on the Underground.
Severn Tunnel is much shorter and is a single bore. Can a passenger even stop a train in there?
The underground also carries on until the next station doesn’t it?
More relevantly they already exist and security checks are not practicable and also not already needed for immigration reasons.
Are you forgetting about the service tunnel and the access points to the running tunnels every 400m?
You still have to drive many miles to get to the middle of the tunnel, you can’t just chopper in next to the train. The access points are still 400m apart and have doors - not a fun assaulting route.
Pull the PASSCOM on an HST in the tunnel and you’ll come to a grinding halt.
I have no problem with subsidising the Eurostar and regulating it like a domestic train. Then you can have cheaper walk on fares. I'll sign that petition. But let's be clear - if you want cheaper short notice fares that's what needs to happen.
Out of interest, would posters here also like to see airline fares subsidised and regulated in the same way?
No...that's similar to the gotthards cross passages (though not into service tunnel but other running tunnel). Really I was hoping someone would take the bait of the undersea emergency exits.
Who would gain what?
As I said, it's about bombs.
If it's about bombs, surely cars should be properly searched? I'm not convinced that "invisible checks" will identify suspicious materials carried in a vehicle.
Actually, IRA terrorist action has always been about publicity and sometimes hostages assist in that. Bombs are a quick way to get attention domestically, but a hostage situation on an undersea international train grabs the attention of at least three national governments before the nationalities of any passengers are taken into consideration. Many of those could be tourists of business passengers from who knows where!
However, hostage situations are usually more noticeable if they are 'visible'. TV cameras etc couldn't get anywhere near a train in the middle of the Channel Tunnel.
Personally, I have never worried about security...but a much bigger issue with Eurostar is their seemingly impossible ability to deal with the smallest amounts of snow...trains still being cancelled this week due to the need for maintenance following the snow over a week ago...Not much point about worrying about time to clear check-in if your train isn't running!
No. I would argue that where rail and air services compete, government subsidy of the rail fare to encourage less environmentally damaging rail travel is a reasonable proposition.
(I also accept the counter-argument in this case that there isn't much, if any, spare capacity through the tunnel to subsidise.)
But the only beneficiaries of those later arrivals in london would be Londoners as other people would find it difficult to get a connection at that time - so they wouldnt use such a service.